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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  July 27, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program, we start this evening talking about numbers, statistics, data and probability with nate silver. his company fivethirtyeight.com is part of the "new york times". he's now moving to espn and abc. >> well, i think it's the combination of knowing something about statistics but being a good storyteller. people say the numbers are dry, right? it's like no, it's interesting if you think through things in the right way. it doesn't create false certainty but kind of talking about where your forecast is coming from. not just putting numbers up and leaving the environment but explaining why the forecast my shift a certain way. >> rose: david carr of the "new york times" joins us to talk about the new television. a look at netflix and others in the revolution in the making. >> yeah, if you look around, charlie, these names: amazon,
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apple, intel, these are big, big companies that have changed the world, changed the way that we do a number of things. and now they're all pivoting toward television. it's not just them. sony is in there. there's a lot of technological energy being aimed at that box in your living room. and netflix -- i think it's been an extraordinary sort of story. we cover companies all the time that talk about transformation, that talk about, you know, we're going to embrace the future. but netflix, while we were watching, they were the biggest user of the postal service and within a year later they were the biggest user of down loads on the internet and that's the kind of pivot we've never seen. >> rose: nate silver and david car when we continue.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
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>> rose: nate silver is here. he made an announcement he will take on a new roll at the sports network espn and at abc. from 2010 until this week the statistics wiz licensed his blog to the "new york times." fivethirtyeight.com shot to prominence 2008 by correctly predicting the winner out of 49 out of 50 states in the flexions that year. during the twelve elections, silver accounted for up to 20% of the "new york times" web traffic. little wonder they wanted him to stay. but he joins espn with a broad mandate: the move represents a return to what he did before politics, analyzing sports statistics. he'll also build a team to apply his methods of statistical analysis to culture and technology and economics and weather and he will cover politics for espn's partner network abc. i'm pleased to have him back at this table. welcome. >> of course, thank you. >> rose: this is a big deal! >> it's a big deal, yeah.
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you're realizing at one point we had this conference call monday and well well behind the royal baby. i think we were somewhere on the twitter trending topics. >> rose: you were trending but not as much as the baby. >> yeah, people have some sense of perspective here, still, right? it's a big deal, i know it involved stories about where journalism is headed and fivethirtyeight picked up a big following. and wherever espn does something they're a very smart company, they know how to use all the different platforms, they know how to use the internet. so espn is a place where you make a lot of news. >> rose: you are also leaving the "new york times." >> yeah, it's not an easy place to leave. >> rose: the "new york times" is where everybody wants to go to, not leave. >> here's one analogy that i might make, right? so it used to be that everyone wanted to be the guy who graduates with kind of top honors from harvard and he's the personal you idolize.
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my generation -- i'm not super young but i'm 35. we idolize the guy who drops out of harvard to start his own business, right? >> rose: bill gates among them. >> yeah, bill gates and mark zuckerberg and that generation so the fact that i get to do something more entrepreneurial, i feel like i had a lot of success in 2008 and twelve and now i get to build a team around me and i get to expand this approach into different areas and pursue different interests of mind and let something grow. it's more of a challenge than staying at the "times" would be. but i'm a guy who likes challenges. >> rose: we know you're a baseball fanatic going way back to when you fell in love with the detroit tigers. that was right about the time the yankees and tigers series? >> i was six years old in 1984 when the tigers won 108 games in the world series. so at that age, your peak age of impressionability, so age six in baseball and the numbers in baseball, too. >> rose: what did you love about
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baseball? >> i mean, it's kind of the perfectly designed activity if you are analyzing numbers, right as a kid you like it because everyone. in michigan is a huge sports fan it's a sport state, i grew up in a college football town, michigan state university. but i can't think of any other activity in sports or otherwise where you have such a good data set, really. so you can train yourself to use statistics in a better way. when you get into politics or economics by starting with baseball. >> rose: i'm off on a tangent but we've all got a picture of statistics with "moneyball." is that pretty much accepted in terms of what people do throughout the major leagues now? >> yeah, i think -- probably there are 28 of the 30 major league teams have some kind of statistical analyst on the payroll and he might be the general manager in some cases. you might have hedge fund guys who -- maybe the ownership in a lot of cases.
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so it took about five or six or eight or ten years for it to filter through but now it's no longer -- the "moneyball" paradigm has won in a sense. let me qualify that by saying also the scouts in baseball are pretty darn good at their jobs and they can now quantify how much value their scouts add and which scouts add through their subjective judgments add value and some don't and they find some scouts are great and a lot of teams like the oakland as, billy bean told me he increased his kouting payroll. their stats tell them how valuable their scouts are. >> rose: first of all, tell me what it is you think made espn so interested in having you join them and to lure you away from the "new york times?" >> rose: first of all, it's the synergy-- and i hate using that word-- between espn and abc where you have news/politics and sports. those are core interests of
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mine. so you have two great partners already. >> rose: i get why you're interested in them. why are they interested in you? what was it beyond predicting those races that led them to believe this guy is on the cutting edge? >> i think espn understands that you want to have products tar geted at different parts of the market. there's no doubt that we are product targeted at smart folks, basically, at well-educated folks but also our demographics look in other ways like a sports site. so most politics site the median reader might be 62 or something. we peak in age 18 to 45-year-old males. so it's already people coming at politics from an approach that they don't necessarily care that much about the personalities involved in politics, the gossip and cabinet nominations, they don't care about that stuff. they want to have an efficient way to know what's going to happen in the election. where are the big trends? which things that i read in the media have truth and where is it noise? >> rose: you were assessing
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today -- i want to know about methodology. the likelihood that anthony weiner would be the next mayor of new york, how do you go about it? >> one thing you can do is go back to past polls and see how accurate they were in different points in time. the new york race is complicated because off runoff situation so my view is that weiner has a certain amount of support but a lot of people-- even democrats-- dislike him so he has a ceiling on his support. if he's in the top two he'll advance to a runoff and that's where that might hurt him a lot. where his enthusiastic supporters might vote for him but they might make up 40% of the electorate whereas christine quinn will get the other 60%. so i think his chances are low of becoming mayor. i'd say in the range of -- with the current accusations the, t new round of the stuff, i'd say not more than 10%. >> rose: okay. but how will you measure the impact of the new range of stuff that's in the headlines for the last two days? >> to some extent we're just waiting for the polls to come
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out and you recalibrate based on that. the presidential forecast it is one thing we look at apart from polls is the economy. so, for example, if there's a bad jobs report that comes out that our model automatically would ding the incumbent president. >> rose: but anything that isless than the previous month or the previous measurement in terms of unemployment is a bad report? >> rose: >> we look at the non-farm payrolls number. i'm an con buff and that's a more robust statistic. >> rose: more meaningful or determinative? >> more meaningful, less noise, a bigger survey they take, it's revised less so those are positive qualities. more informative. >> rose: when you look at the president's performance today, how do you see it because his numbers are down into the 40s? >> i think now at 45% approval rating in the nbc poll, for instance.
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first of all, that was series of so-called scandals i think some of which are more median that others but people see a guy who's not getting a heck of a lot done so they're mostly hearing negative coverage about him and not seeing what the game plan is for the second term. with that said, you know, we're conditioned within such a narrow range where we think 45% approval is pretty bad whereas 51% approval is pretty good. that's still just only 6% of americans changing their mind one way or the other. so he's had a high floor and low ceiling given how partisan the country has become. >> rose: here's what interests me about that. he is launching-- the president, and you care deeply about politics, as you have said-- a series of speeches about the economy. essentially-- i'm not sure how many new ideas there are-- to get his argument out there. that says he feels like people have not comprehended what he is
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doing or the complexity or the situation or something else. >> i think one thing that's been difficult throughout this administration is that the economy has never been in recession since it officially came out of recession in 2009. we've never also really had a great string of economic data, either. so i think he's trying to calibrate saying the jobs we're creating, still tough for people out there, signs are better now but it's tough and the economy is still the number one and 1a issue for most americans. if unemployment does keep going down his numbers will tick up a bit. >> rose: okay. so this is my point. i mean, he's out to make a series of speeches. but your argument simply is you have to look at the numbers? you can't change the debate by speech. >> you have to remember those speeches are mostly aimed at the political press, right? to change the tenor of how the press covers it. most people outside of election seasons aren't watching politics
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on a day to day basis and it's hard for people in the beltway and washington, d.c. to understand that your perspective as someone who's following politics everyday is different than the average american's. that's why i'm not someone who cares that much about inside information and gossip and that distance i think helps with my coverage being more realistic sometimes. >> rose: would you call something like play book, that kind of information? >> yeah, that's a lot of insider information and gossip and one thing we've found in last year's campaign is just taking the publicly available data-- the polls, the economic statistics and running simple models based on them sds better than the conventional wisdom in some cases. you see that a bit in sports the thing about sports though is your ideas are put to the test more often. you might think oh, tim tebow was the next great quarterback but tim tebow has to play for the new york jets and you'll get experience to see does he win or
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lose, what's his quarterback rating, everything else. in politics you have one election every four years so if you're wrong you can persist in being wrong for a long time. >> rose: when it doesn't follow probability, what do you attribute that to? >> probability is probability and not an absolute. so we had for example last november barack obama with a 91% chance -- >> rose: you talked about that here at this table. >> but we also had a case in north dakota where we had the democrat there, heidi heitkamp, with only a 9% chance of winning also and she won, right? you're going to lose 10% of your 9-1 bets. you're supposed to over time. just like when they have the weather forecast they say there's only a 10% chance of rain you will get rained on 10% of the time. it will be annoying when that occurs and you're having your golf game or picnic but that's how probability works. if you read my book where it goes into covering. >> rose: "the signal and the noise" >> yes.
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it's skeptical in saying we have to be cautious about what we can forecast and can't. you can identify a past pattern that won't apply in the future if there's a paradigm shift. if the situation changes. >> rose: a for dime shift meaning would you not be able to pick up on that? >> it's hard to pick up on paradigm shifts. >> rose: give me last big one. >> i'm skeptical -- i think people always see paradigm shifts -- >> rose: i know, so let's look back. >> well, look at politics. people claim every reelection -- they say 2008 will be a realign for for the depths. in 2010 the democrats lose more seats in the house than any party's lost since world war ii. so these things are short lived and people are too quick to attribute random fluctuations. >> rose: is it a paradigm shift in terms of when you look at the obama team's analysis of the lech court and how they perceive where america's electorate is, was that a different assessment
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than made by the romney team and was the obama team much more accurate than the romney team? >> well, the average of public polls was basically accurate, too, right? they that had obama winning almost all of the swing states except north carolina and that's where the polls led our forecast. you give credit to the pollsters. i think the obama team is good about turning out voters at the margin, they have smart folks working for them really the pollsters deserve more credit. and i mean the people at abc news or the "wall street journal" or the "new york times" who are conducting these polls. i just put them together in an intelligent way but we have good raw data and when you have good raw data your job as an analyst is easier. >> rose: what are you going to do for the oscars? >> there's no commitment yet. we've tried to issue oscar forecasts in the past and the golden globes, the screen actors guild awards that serve as polls in the sense that some of the
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same people vote for them after the academy awards but we've gotten about 70 5-% of those predictions right historically. which isn't terrible but not great. the oscars are tougher, i think, than election campaigns or sports in a lot of ways. >> rose: because there's an emotional factor or -- >> not per se but because first of all off small group of people being lobbied a lot. movie studios will put multimillion dollar campaigns to target a few hundred swing voters in the oscars. you don't have nearly as good data to see how these predecessor awards -- you don't did "argo" beat lincoln 50% to 10% or was it a tossup? you so without knowing that you don't have the same detail and resolution you have in a political poll. >> rose: the famous book you wrote about the henl hog and the fox you tell everybody "be foxy." >> the hedgehog is a guy who is a master of one thing whereas
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the fox is scrappy. the fox takes many little approaches toward a problem. the fox has a diverse range of interest and our approach is fox like. i'm suspicious of people who claim to be highly certain about things in a complex world. suspicious of political partisans, for example, who say "republicans are right on every issue" or democrats are. the world is a complex place and day is one way to help shed light on that and it's an ongoing process. it's not coming up with the perfect answer. it's getting you closer to the truth. >> rose: what influence did thomas bays have on you? >> bays was an english reverend who developed by as near rom. it's a forla for how you weigh new information. so say for example that you're in a political campaign and you've had obama ahead in the last ten polls of ohio and you have a new poll coming out showing romney in the lead instead. how much to weigh that against what you knew before or like
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wise in military environments. you think the campaign is going well and then you're vulnerable to a counterattack but you have a limited information on the fog of war, how much do you update your beliefs based on data in the fog of war? >> rose: and whoever it was that said, you know, once the battle begins, the plans are in play. >> exactly. here's the thing: it's easy after the fact to go back and assess something. that's what historians do. that can be valuable. history and physics are intimately intertwined in the sense we build models from occurrences but figuring out in realtime is trickier sometimes. you have limited information. one thing i use dodd is play poker and there's no use going back after the hand and saying "here's how i should have played." you have to make a decision. >> rose: you can learn from it, can't you? >> you can get better at it. >> rose: i what happened? >> i play there the world series in poker in las vegas. >> rose: how did you do? >> i got 99th place out of
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2,500. not main event. i didn't cash in in the main event. >> rose: why were you able to be good at poker? because you understood probability? >> you understand probability and statistics, yeah. i think the other thing is there was a kind of poker boom which i actually call a poker bubble in the united states in thed any 2000s where it was being shown on t.v. at times. but on t.v. they show you what hands your opponent has so people, i think, got false impressions ant how easy poker was. it's a very difficult game. it requires -- >> rose: concentration. >> good estimation skills. it requires understanding of game theory. you have to bluff sometimes in poker if you're playing correctly otherwise you become too predictable. so it's a complex game. >> rose: this is what jason zengerly said. "for all the data constantly streaming in from polling officials and all the data and analysis being spit right back out by people like silver, the polling industry has never been less confident in its ability to reduce a series of interviews to a number that is an accurate
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reflection of the opinions and future behavior of the populace >> right now even the best polls only reach about 10% of the people they want to reach. the sloppy polls, the fly-by-night operations might reach 2% or something. so it is kind of miraculous that somehow that 10% has remained relatively representative of the other 90%. but there are reasons to be concerned and frankly one reason why it's in my interest to diversify what we're covering is because i guarantee you we'll have an election sooner or later where something goes wrong. where the polls are way off. it's happened in some cases. >> rose: if you are into numbers this is a good time for you. >> yeah, for sure. i often read the harvard business review, for example, and every other advertisement-- never mind the article-- is about big data and about how you optimize data and decision making. so it's in my view -- partisan is making up for lost time where i think, you know, it's kind of always assumed that the jocks
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and the nerds and so forth, right? and that's worn off. you see examples like sports culture where you have much more integration now and people just want to win. the bottom line is that capitalism, competition and innovation and if you show you can win, have a more winning baseball team, a more accurate forecast by using data in a certain way then people are going to catch on. >> rose: so you've been lured away by espn and abc to do the things that you want. two questions: what is your core competence? >> well, i think it's the combination of knowing something about statistics but also being a good kind of storyteller, really, right? to say here's -- people say well, the numbers are really dry. it's like, no, it's interesting if you think through things in the right way. it doesn't create false certainty but talking about where your forecast is coming from.
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not just leaving the environment but explaining why the forecast might shift a certain way. so it's that explanatory skill. i'm a guy who -- i worked on the paper in high school and college i was on a debate team. so i always had a communications skill of taking complex information and funding out how to distill it to a broader audience without dumbing it down but to represent a way that's fair and interesting and marketable so it's that overlap there. definitely people who are better than me at running the numbers and people are better writers and communicators but the overlap of skills is fairly rare where we're used to going up into this english major versus math major environment and divide these two things in ways that are false. >> rose: it's more than science? >> well, there's science and art to it. to fuse those approaches more and fight against this trend, be too much of a specialist is i think the ways i look at things
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that's helped a lot. >> rose: what narrative are you part of that's indicative of the future? you said -- a lot of people said look, this suggests a trend in our society? >> well, i think one bias that human beings have is to make someone a symbol of something and, look, there are there were a lot of other political scientists and writers who had good results with election models in 2012. for some reason i became -- maybe this is partly being at the "new york times," but the focal point of a lot of attention-- positive and negative--. >> rose: controversy and debate. >> yeah, it's like, look, there were six other guys who got 49 states right and a couple others who got 50 out of 50 also. so applying similar approaches. in science it's good when there's a consensus of opinion around something where you apply different methods and get to the same result. i think it became a symbol for a lot of things in journalism and for number crunchers and everything else so i would -- there was a joking article the onion about me where it's like "nate knows his value has peaked
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and won't decline." but i feel like i've had a lucky -- i play poker, i know when you can play as well as you can but you love to also get lucky on top of your solid play. >> rose: what you said is also reflect bid what matthew iglesias said. "he's hardly the greatest mathematical genius in america. his journey to political prognosticating is very much of of a restless and curious mind and this more than number crunching is where real forecasting prowess comes from." >> for sure. this is your skill, asking good questions. having a curious mind about when you see different things about trying to be more analytical about them. so it's the mental attitude. one thing about the fox versus the hedgehog, the fox never stops working, under base near
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rom we very r always refinding our ideas and learning your whole life. that's my approach. when i get bored with something my performance declines. it's part of my moving into a different environment where there's more fields, it's more entrepreneurial, more'mlyer, i think i respond well to that challenge. >> rose: people that i admire, it's like we've said, the ability to connect the dots. >> some days the stock market moves for no reason. people try to con conduct explanations after the fact. profit taking or whatever else. where, you know, it's a noisy world we live in so you have to be careful not to give up and so we don't understand everything but also not to overanalyze things, too. >> rose: you have used this in explaining things, the idea of some husband has an affair. explain that to me. you use that as a model to explain -- >> so this is a model -- an example of how to aplay by as'
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near rum where you find a strange play of underwear which is not yours and you have to infer whether your partner is maybe having an affair based on that or not. the point is that the underwear itself doesn't tell you as much as the history. if it's someone who maybe an anthony weiner type or something you have a lot of reasons to be suspicious. >> rose: that odds up to -- >> maybe the luggage got mixed up at the airport. so just saying information needs to be placed into context to be valuable. statistics aren't valuable in their own. it's what they inform about the world and it's based on the beliefs you bring in and having a forecast for how that changes things as you move forward. >> rose: and with respect to climate change and global warning, where there's a constant debate. but on the other hand some people like al gore will come in and say "charlie, there is no debate. it's a very small select group of people who believe that we're not looking at a real potential
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for global warming or global warming is happening." >> i think there is a consensus about certain facts. right? almost all scientists believe that the earth is warming now because the greenhouse effect which is -- and that is man made event and that it will continue to warm other things being equal. there's not a lot of consensus about what affect will global warming have on the number and strength. there are prevailing beliefs about that. >> rose: that came up. >> as much as the news media indulges a false debate between climate change skeptics and deniers, there are also cases where you can't attribute one hurricane or one tornado or one heat wave to climate change. it's a long-term phenomenon, it's an important signal but it's important in the long run that is dwarfed in the short run by short term weather
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fluctuations. >> rose: finally, what argument made -- vis-a-vis your work, has caused you in any way to either refine what you do or refine your explanation of what you do. >> i think you're always learning a bit. maybe the oscar stuff is humbling. but we haven't had a great track record with that. in the presidential primary sometimes you miss races but people get a forecast wrong and i say let me tweak my model and correct for. this sometimes things are not that predictable, right? right now who won the primary in iowa three and a half years from now, that's not that predictable no matter what method you would apply. if you had a model that claimed ted cruz is going to win then you have a bad model. the term is "overfitting" where it fits the past data really well but probably makes dubious assumptions for how you move forward. so understanding where new the
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predictability spectrum is more important. the precise answer is not beater answer if it doesn't wind up being accurate and truth informal the end. >> rose: thank you, great to have you here again. take care. back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: netflix has made history. they are the first company to receive emmy nominations for shows that were never broadcast on television. "house of cards" and "arrested development." are two series only available through netflix online video service. it's not just netflix. other companies are creating content for television. apple, google, aero and others are changing the way we watch television. near talk about the future is david carr. he writes the media equation column for the "new york times." i'm pleased to have him back at this table. all right, sir, here's where we start. my question is going to be what the future of television is. "television precedes its future,
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netflix is there." apple and google were back making waves in the television world last night with reports last week suggesting they were renewing efforts to use technology to transform the box in your living room. tell me more. >> yeah, if you look around, charlie, these names "amazon," "apple," "intel." these are big, big companies that have changed the world, changed the way that we do a number of things and now they're pivoting toward television. it's not just them. sewn sni in there. there's a lot of technological energy being aimed at that box in your living room. netflix, i think it's been an extraordinary sort of story. we cover companies all the time that talk about transformation, that talk about we're going to embrace the future but netflix, while we were watching, they
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were the biggest user of the postal service and then within a year later they were biggest user of down loads on the internet and that's the kind of pivot we've never seen. >> rose: amazing. they have 38 million subscribers. >> right. >> rose: in prime time, one-third of all the people watching television on the internet are downloading netflix right? >> they're responsible for almost a third of the traffic. it's because movies are very data intensive. but you're talking about a really fundamental shift in consumer behavior. for a long time we just sat and waited for our television to come over the airwaves and then after a while they ran coax cable into our house and we all thought this was the greatest thing ever, this is unbelievable. until we got our cable bill and it was a little less sweet. >> rose: had a lot of things we never watch. >> and yeah, you're right, we got sold the bundle.
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i'm not a huge espn guy but i pay for it no matter what. i love my hbo. but you can't cherry pick. netflix is where you can reach in, grab what you want and watch only that and that's going to be enormously disruptive when you get people to start to program or produce their own media universe. because when companies come to you and say "you have to by the whole thing" and maybe you don't watch this but you have to pay for this, we call that inefficiency. we call that -- they have another word for it, profit, where all the money is. >> rose: and the opposite is something they call a la carte, where you can pick and choose and pay for you what you use. >> exactly. and part of the threat of the web is that you're able to reach in, grab what you want and leave. think of netflix, what does it
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cost? $7.99? that's a pretty good deal! >> rose: that's a very good deal. >> and you could -- i was -- i was watching "orange is the new black" which is their -- >> rose: new production by netflix. >> yes, and it's pretty darn great, i've got to the say. and i was sitting there watching it and it was the first time it occurred to me, you know, people talk over and over about cutting the cord on cable. it never seems to come but you can start to see a world where you could piece together something that didn't involve a cable company and you can say "what are we going to do for sports?" well, now you have arrow coming in saying we're going to offer broadcast signals, capture them and send them -- >> rose: explain whatary roe is aero is. >> barry diller invented the
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forth network called fox. >> rose: before rupert murdoch. >> he did and he knows a little bit about what he's doing. he's backed -- aero, what they'll do is set up an antenna farm in a metropolitan area, each customer gets their own little antenna. >> rose: about the size of a dime. >> yeah, and that's -- that's less about technology and more about regulation. all they're doing is grabbing and what's in the air and capturing it for the consumer. they set up a d.v.r. behind that meaning you can record almost anything and then it comes to your house over the web and you can imagine what somebody like les moonves thinks of that at cbs. >> rose: i think he's threatening to sue. and some of them, like rupert murdoch, are threatening to put their network on cable. >> when i was talking to at news
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corporation and they said "well, we just won't be broadcast anymore. and those guys -- see how those guys do with that. i don't think it's an idle threat on their part, partly because, charles, if you think of it, how many television households in the u.s.? probably about 110 million. 100 million of us have cable. so the idea of what broadcast is anymore, you're not losing much. f you don't have a broadcast signal and if somebody is grabbing your signal and retransmitting it and not giving you money you might as well take it down. >> rose: so you think other networks might do that if aero has a huge penetration? and they're talking about 14 or 15 million subscribers is their dream? >> aero has had an amazing run in court.
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people are saying this can't be legal, this can't be legal. and they've won legal victory after legal victory after legal victory. >> the argument the networks make is we're paying to develop this content, weather, news, correspondents overseas. air owe. and then suddenly you come along with an antenna and use our content. >> and aereo goes back to like the beta max decisions. if you're putting it over the airwaves, consumers will record it. one thing aereo won't talk about is the amount of pin trags that they have. so far i think, you know, when we talk to your audience about aereo they'll say what is that? they're in 22 american cities. but it's -- a lot of people would say it's the solution in search of a problem. but in a legal sense they've made enormous progress and part
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of the reason it's sort of interesting is because of all this other stuff that we're talking about between apple, between google, between netflix that we could -- >> rose: let's understand what they all want to do. we know what aereo does, it gives you access on your computer to network programming. that's what it gives you. so you have google. what do they want? what is their strategy? do they simply want to get into the game of producing content for delivery to your computer? or your tablet? or whatever device may be? >> i think when it comes to google it's safe to assume that they want everything and they're a company who has enormous muscles and legs to use them. let's lay it out like this, charlie. google wants to get in a business where they're creating a separate network over the internet and that even if you
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don't have cable in your house that you could perhaps buy cable programming, not cable, from google. google is going out to people and trying to cut deals over and over. intel doing the same thing where they would be a so-called over-the-top deliverer meaning not through a cable but came over the web. apple's plan, i think, is less ambitious is to -- we're going to -- we're going to put a new navigation on what you already have and who owns -- if you think of your television set in the living room, it's so full of great things, especially if it's -- if it's hooked to the web, the content choices are almost infinite. you can't find anything. you have to go up to it and hit it with a stick and hope something great pops up and apple and google both say "we're
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good at servicing great things. we'll help you find wonderful stuff." >> rose: reed hastings is by anybody's estimate a great executive at netflix. and so is his team. he was at a conference that i was attending and, in fact, he was on a panel that i was moderating and the question was having to do with criming and having to do with netflix and having to do with splitting up over the mail and that stuff and he said, you know, there's a reason we didn't call this company d.v.d. by mail. there's a reason we called it netflix. this is where they expect it to be all along. >> rose: >> yeah, i listen to him talk about it and all the thing they were going to do and i didn't believe him. >> rose: at this table, i didn't not believe him i didn't know how it was going to be. because none of us appreciated -- and we should have all appreciated -- technology is moving so fast that the quality
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of streaming video will get better and better and better and better and better. after that everything can be worked out. >> one of the things that netflix did is when i plugged it in it worked. >> rose: yeah. >> it's really important, i do think -- most time when you say i'm an early dapper, you have a bunch of arrows in your forehead. netflix figured out how to buffer streaming so that it led to a nice feed. part of what they have done -- i'm amazed -- obviously they're in a very competitive marketplace and a lot of times -- you know, if you think of what they were, they used to be a pretty good movie company with a bunch of really kind of rotten television attached. now they've pivoted to being a lot of good television, not much. so i don't want to underestimate --
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>> rose: you're talking about netflix? >> yeah. it's like hbo when you think about it. remember when hbo used to have really great movies and not much in the way of television. the hbo model, we're seeing the second coming of hbo which is a company that got into original programming by finding smart people, finding them, letting them do work that they -- that they wanted to do and giving it time to find an audience. netflix, you have to give them credit. they have the software expertise that allowed them to know that, well, if you like this, you're also going to like that. right? that's been very helpful because it makes it seem like there's always something good there even when there's not. but there's software expertise that extends to the software that includes movie stars, directors, that they can make very, very entertaining
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programming. again, kind of a surprise because content, ask any network executive, it's hard. it's hard to make good stuff. >> oh, it is, i can tell you that myself. >> they pilot, what, 20 things a year? >> rose: it's hard to write a good book. anything createive that is hard to do. that's why there's not that much of it. let me come to the question of netflix in terms of what these people are going to do. they're all going to be streaming video. how is what amazon wants to do which has a multiple series of businesses, they're in the cloud, they tone cloud in the sense, they have a very powerful cloud company. in fact, i think netflix uses amazon cloud. >> absolutely. >> the c.i.a. uses amazon's cloud. >> yes. >> rose: and other people like that. so netflix is making -- not only do they offer you these movies they've signed contracts to have they now create their own content. and you're saying what we're
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going to see is they're going to generate more and more content of their own so they're like what a network used to be amazon will do the same thing? >> they already are. amazon prime has commissioned a number of original works. if you're an amazon prime member you can stream any number of movies. they have series that are beginning. these are giants that are moving into a space that's already occupied by legacy players. and these really, really good smart companies have gotten into it. it's going to be a big old dog fight. >> rose: because they're simply going to the places where they create content and buying it or buying the talent to create content? >> correct, over and over. one of the advantages they have-- and this goes for netflix, this goes for amazon-- is if you're make egg programming decisions you're always just throwing darts off into the dead of night.
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who knows what will stick or work. >> some do it better than others less moonves, even though i work for him, being a good example. >> but when you hear a pitch for something who ever thought "lost" would be good television. netflix, amazon intel if they get into the business. >> rose: but they're all going to make do the same thing? >> well, they'll be doing the same thing in different ways but they'll have data to help them decide. if you think of "house of cards" which did very well. you have people who like david fincher knew vise. >> rose: great director. >> you have people who like kevin spacey movies. and you have people who watch the british version of "house of cards." if you take that venn diagram and put it to the other you go "oh, there's a business in there." >> rose: and you've got -- as you have suggested, netflix is paving the way but there's also hbo go and google, a huge company, and there's amazon, a huge company.
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there's intel, a huge company and others may want part of the action. how do they differ in what they want to do to be part of the future of television. >> it's complicated but really interesting. you've got hbo, which is a service we've come to love. coming from a legacy position, coming from -- they come over your cable, now they're starting to find a way to go directly to the consumer. they're working with apple. they have a streaming app with apple. so you have a -- you have a company that's been around for a while that makes a ton of money starting to head toward that business. inin the instance of google, of intel, they're more or less trying to do a network over the web. right? they're trying to recreate, develop relationships with the people who sell programming and sell them to people over the web. apple is interested in putting a
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new supreme court of screen working with existing providers to find a new way to present information, not making separate deals. sony wants to make its own programming. the streaming business which netflix is doing very well with, they're being joined by amazon. so everybody's coming into the t.v. business what used to be called the t.v. business from a different angle. and trying to get a piece -- because it's a huge business. >> rose: and it means the golden age of television. >> it's fairly breathtaking when you step up to your television and say, well, aaron sorkin's "newsroom" just debuted but i've got every episode of "orange is the new black" available to me. oh, a.m.c.'s got "the killing" on, it's the third episode which by the way, is half funded by netflix. >> rose: which, by the way,
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means netflix saved "the killing" because it was going off the air. >> that is such a good point! because you used to think of, oh streaming rights, the people who sold them just used to throw that in as a bonus. now it's a very fundamental part of the business. part of what we're talking about over and over, charlie, is regardless of what have the legacy companies want once the consumer decided i want i want it all at once, everybody has to curve around that. once the consumer decides "i'm going to watch streamed products the whole business will pivot around them. we'll be able to program our own little universe. >> rose: you know what somebody interesting said? oh, this was reed hastings, he said what we're fighting for is part of your time. what we're about is getting 30 minutes of your time, getting an hour of your time. that's what we're trying to get.
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>> part of the reason that works is because all of this stuff that we're talking about lives on the cloud -- in the cloud ready to be pulled down on demand. i don't even have to set my d.v.r. i just step up to it and say -- >> it's all there. >> i want it and i want it now. part of what i think is going to be very interesting to watch is you step up to your television, it looks the same but there's so much more stuff behind it. whoever figures out how to show me all that stuff, whoever figures out the navigation, if i'm able to walk up to my television and say i want every time that charlie rose talked to a baseball guy and that's going to show me -- >> rose: everybody. >> in order. wouldn't that be nice? >> rose: let's talk about the content. we loved -- i love -- i haven't seen "arrested development."
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i missed that. i loved "house of cards" with kevin spacy. >> what a surprise. what a surprise. >> rose: that i would love it or -- >> yes! >> rose: beyond that, "breaking bad." >> right. >> rose: loved it. loved everything about it. do you? >> yeah, i -- >> rose: not with my enthusiasm. >> no, i mean i -- it's so noneny. in covering media, all all the action was in movies for so long and now all we talk about is television over and over and we're into -- >> rose: but television as a means to present you the same thing you're getting from the movies. >> the big stories are ending up on the small screen and part of what's going on is -- for one thing, movies have no time for women, right? there this summer there was one film that was released with a female protagonist "the heat
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"which you should totally see. all the rest it was a sausage fest. >> rose: how about orange or whatever it is. >> "orange is the new black." think of on television all the smart interesting female protagonists. you've got a detective in "the killing" who is a bad mother. you've got a spy in "homeland" who isn't sort of crazy, she's dead bang crazy. you've got "orange is the new black" you've got this nice little while girl from the suburbs who's a convicted felon and deserves everything that came at her. >> rose: you've got "scandal." >> there is a heroine for you. >> rose: (laughs) if you think back to the tony sopranostor don drapers, i don't think it's that surprising that we're ending up with the nurse jackies, with the -- with female protagonists that are just as tortured, deep, and interesting as the males. >> rose: that's very good. >> part of what's going on is
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when you expand expotentially this space which you can program into, you'll end up with more interesting choices and it better be good because as reed hastings said to you, they're in a dog fight for consumer attention and you've got to have something spectacular to stick out from all that clutter. >> rose: so how much television-- even though it's your business-- do you watch? how much video do you watch period? whether it's -- whether it's in front of a big 60-inch television or on your smart phone? >> i guess that's a great question, charlie. because i was looking at the stack of the "new yorker"s the other night on my bed stand and mark leibovich's wonderful new book. >> rose: "this town." >> "this town," it's an extraordinary book. but it's in this fight over and over. it's right next to the remote and it's -- the numbers show
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that everybody's watching more and more television. where is it coming from? in my instance i do think that if i want to see a -- read a great story, frequently i'm ending up grabbing the remote. partly because i can pull out exactly what i want, watch it when i want and get tucked in by whatever i like. >> rose: final question for you. being the big fan i am. what is your role? what is the column supposed to be about? what is it that people come to david for? >> well, i'm part of a -- every monday the "new york times" tries to index into the media business and we were often the kind of poor relation. it's like we write about people who actually do things. we're covering -- journalists are bosswells, right? they'd stand adjacent to people who actually do things and the miness nothing every
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ever changed. beginning -- depending on when you date to the consumer internet, as soon as broad band came in after 2000 big chunks of the sky started falling and i think it's been breath taking to watch in terms of both the velocity of change and the fact that it's not being driven by these big companies that we're talking about but by people making individual choices over and over. the consumer is dragging the world into a new era and my job is to grab the back of their shirt and hang on. anybody who tells you oh, i help you see over the hill, i help you know what's coming around. i think they're full of beans right now because i don't think anybody would have predicted that a company that used to mail you little red envelopes would be changing the future of television. it sounds preposterous when in
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fact that's part of what happened. my job over and over again is to be an advocate for normal people not get caught up too much in the jargon and try and find a through line -- what does this mean to me as a person who's involved in business but more importantly what does it mean to me in terms of who i am as a consumer? what do i have to pay attention to and what i don't when i wake up tomorrow's world is going to be different than the one i'm living in today. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> it's an absolute pleasure, charlie. >> rose: david carr of the "new york times." thank you for joining us. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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